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TikTok's India ban has been lifted

Tyrone Stewart

TikTokMere weeks after being banned, TikTok has been made available to download again in India, after a state court reversed its decision in response to an appeal from the app’s parent company Bytedance.

Earlier this month, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology demanded that TikTok no longer be made available to download from the Apple and Google app stores, following a ruling from the Madras High Court to ban the app, saying it encourages pornography and makes children vulnerable to sexual predators.

Bytedance argued that TikTok was just a platform where users upload videos and that the company should not be held liable for the actions of these users – and the court agreed. As such, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology will ask Apple and Google to make the app available on their platforms again, once it has received the court’s order, according to Reuters.

“We are glad about this decision and we believe it is also greatly welcomed by our thriving community in India, who use TikTok as a platform to showcase their creativity,” A TikTok spokesperson told us in a statement. “We are grateful for the opportunity to continue serving our users better. While we’re pleased that our efforts to fight against misuse of the platform have been recognised, the work is never ‘done’ on our end. We are committed to continuously enhancing our safety features as a testament to our ongoing commitment to our users in India.”

Controversy over its content isn’t new ground for TikTok. In February, the creators of Musical.ly, the app which merged with TikTok after being acquired in 2017, reached a $5.7m settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over the alleged collection of children’s information without parental consent.

Earlier this month, a BBC investigation found that TikTok was failing to ban users who post sexually explicit comments, despite the app’s recent push to promote online safety and digital wellbeing.

*This article has been updated to include TikTok's statement

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